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Feature Articles: Holidays


Gift Ideas for Active Living

Linda Rellergert, Nutrition Specialist, St. Charles County, University of Missouri Extension

Looking for just the right gift for someone special on your list? Consider something that promotes an active lifestyle. Use the following list for gift ideas. You can also circle the items you’d like to find in your own stocking and leave the list where Santa’s helpers can’t help but notice it.

Walking or athletic shoes. Since it is difficult to judge proper fit for someone else, purchase a gift certificate for shoes at an athletic-goods store and wrap in a shoebox.

Athletic socks. Fit is important, but since socks come in only a few sizes, these can be easy to buy for someone else.

Comfortable and attractive clothes for your favorite activities — skiing, walking, jogging, cycling, aerobics, yoga. Athletic stores are the best bet, with better selections and knowledgeable sales people to help.

Hand and ankle weights.

Workout videos. Both of these are highly recommended:

  • Strong Women Stay Young — Learn to do strength-training exercises correctly in this 50-minute video.
  • Chair Dancing — A fun way to get aerobic exercise and to improve muscle tone and flexibility. Adaptations for different fitness levels are included in the video.


Books that promote physical activity. Try some of these:

  • Great Shape: The First Fitness Guide for Large Women by Pat Lyons and Debby Burgard published by, Inc., 2000. ISBN 0-595-08883-X.
  • Strong Women Stay Young by Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D. with Sarah Wernick, Ph.D., published by Bantam Books, 2000. ISBN 0-553-38077-X.
  • Strong Women Strong Bones: Everything You Need to Know to Prevent, Treat, and Beat Osteoporosis by Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D. with Sarah Wernick, Ph.D., published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2000. ISBN 0-399-14597-4.
  • Hiking Missouri by Kevin M. Lohraff, published by Human Kinetics Publishers, May 1999.
  • One Hundred Nature Walks in the Missouri Ozarks by Alan McPherson, Lonnie Russell (Illustrator) published by Cache River Press, May 1997.
  • Missouri Hiking Trails: A Detailed Guide to Selected Hiking Trails on Public Land in Missouri by Ramon D. Gass, Bernadette C. Dryden (Editor), Charles W. Schwartz (Illustrator) published by Missouri Department of Conservation, July 1996.


Membership to the local YMCA, Rec-Plex or other fitness center. Or gift certificate for an aerobics, tai chi or yoga class at one of the above. Purchase two and enroll yourself to make it even more fun!

Make coupons good for any activity your recipient would enjoy doing with you — walking, hiking, cycling, skating, dancing, sledding.

If your budget allows for a more extravagant gift, how about a trip that includes plenty of activity — to the mountains for skiing, up north for snowshoeing, down south for swimming.


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Last update: Wednesday, December 11, 2013